October 2006 – While pro-family organizations have won the battle of the ballot box when it comes to homosexual marriage, gay activists aren’t discouraged. Major initiatives are underway to affect a change in public attitudes toward same-sex marriage.
On August 1, three powerful homosexual groups launched an unprecedented, full-page newspaper ad campaign in 50 newspapers nationwide to promote same-sex marriage.
The three groups – the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Freedom to Marry – hope to convince much of Middle America that gay marriage should be legal.
In the ads “more than 60 civic, religious, labor and civil rights leaders and organizations declare their commitment to working toward equality for gay and lesbian families,” said a press release.
The effort is a demonstration that such activist groups will not be quitting this cultural battle any time soon. “This is a long-term conversation,” said Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry. “Our job is to make sure people hear about gay families and why marriage matters, and not be drowned out by the horse race of the moment.”
According to PlanetOut.com, a homosexual Internet news outlet, the campaign cost $250,000, and organizers claimed it was the largest purchase of print ad space ever commissioned by gay activists.
Mayors of nine major U.S. cities – including Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle – signed on in support of homosexual marriage.
The ad says: “Along the way there will be advances and setbacks, but we will not stop until every American family is treated fairly, with dignity and equality under the law.”
Perhaps even more ominous for pro-family groups is a largely overlooked article in The American Prospect in March. The article reveals a large scale, long-term strategy on the part of homosexual groups to see same-sex marriage legalized.
According to the article by E.J. Graff, resident scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center, “A 15-year strategy has been agreed to by all the major [gay] organizational players. Funding is in place, and new tactics are being developed and tested in this year’s biggest clashes with anti-gay groups.”
First, Graff said gay activists understand that, “To date, no DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] has been defeated in an open popular vote” in any state.
However, Graff also said the gay rights groups are focusing on a set of key tactics to begin changing the political reality in many states: “build progressive coalitions, invest in faith-based organizing, talk to voters one on one, and play hardball politics.”
California, Graff said, was a prime example of how homosexuals will be organizing and executing their strategy. That state passed a DOMA in 2000. But activists were determined to circumvent the intent of voters through piecemeal efforts in the state legislature – which is controlled by Democrats.
Year after year, Graff said, California legislators, over the complaints of pro-family groups and despite the efforts of the Republican minority, passed a string of domestic partner rights for homosexual couples. Pro-family groups have complained that such rights have essentially legalized same-sex marriage in every way but name only.
In response, California pro-family groups like Campaign for Children and Families (www.savecalifornia.com) have been trying to get enough signatures to get a ballot initiative before voters. Such an initiative would strip away the special domestic partner rights inserted by the state legislature.
Gay activists, in turn, are determined to defeat the pro-family strategy. Graff said homosexual leaders intend to have “two million conversations” with California voters “about why gay and lesbian couples need and deserve access” to marriage.
To accomplish this, homosexual groups “are helping train their coalition partners to talk to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues,” Graff said.
But a warm-and-fuzzy approach with voters is not the only tactic. In California and elsewhere, Graff said the coalition of homosexual groups is determined to “Play hardball politics.”
In other words, legislators who don’t embrace the gay agenda are to be targeted for defeat in elections, and campaigns run by sympathetic “gay-friendly Democrats” will be helped by the organized and well-funded homosexual lobby groups.
By the year 2020, Graff said the gay rights groups hope to have same-sex marriage legal in 10 states, civil unions legal in another 10, and nondiscrimination laws in yet another 10.
“This kind of effort takes political muscle with local city councils and in state legislatures, precisely the kind of muscle that LGBT organizations are now building,” Graff said.